After I had a beautiful experience of the Divine, the daily world seemed really awful. I didn’t like it. I wanted to leave it. I could not see all the beauty of God in the world around me. Over time, I’ve learned to see beyond appearances into the divine light within – most of the time. OK, a lot of the time. At least, definitely more than some of the time! I’ve also gotten better at connecting to love and God in my heart and bringing that into my world instead of letting the world overtake me.
Learning to keep this experience of God in my life alive has been a long climb, and I still work on it every day. I still struggle with understanding how such beauty and love can exist and not always be found around us. I still struggle with understanding how people can harm one another after seeing all the love they truly are beneath it all.
But I know that we are love. And I have come to believe that the best way of keeping that love lit up is to bring it into my own life each day. I can’t wait for the world to learn to love. I have to be that every day for myself and for those around me. Then I can keep that experience rippling out into the world. You are love, and I am love, and all we are is love. I wish you a chance to be love for yourself and for others today.
In tragedy or in triumph, whether you’re building something beautiful or repairing something broken, often all we need to do is to take the next step. When I’ve been in very difficult situations and very lost, it was easy to see a big world in front of me, become overwhelmed, and just shut down. Conversely, when I’m working towards making something I care about, I can get ahead of myself, become anxious, and also shut down.
The next step is right in front of you. Don’t make a situation more daunting than it needs to be. Just take the next step, whatever it may be. Hopefully, it will be easy for you to discern what the next step is, for whatever is occupying your mind and energies. If not, as always, get still and quiet, then listen to what arises from within. Once you know what that step is, call on your resources, support system, angels, and everything you may need to help you. Then go for it.
Taking the next step in front of you is a way of keeping your mind on your present situation, rather than on an ambiguous and amorphous future. You don’t need to get overwhelmed. Stay right here, with your feet on the ground. Figure out what your next, reasonable, doable step is, and take it.
Accept your life as it is, right now. Appreciate the things you have already. Be thankful for the many blessings in your life. Allow the things you are grateful for in your life to blossom and grow. It can be easy to worry and to see the worst in the world. Look deeper. God is in you. God is with you. God is guiding you.
I have been practicing appreciating my life and the many blessings in it, even as I have caught myself worrying about many things in my life and in our world. Worrying does no good for anyone. It doesn’t help make things better. It doesn’t improve one’s life or the world. It leaves one in a rut. However, accepting and appreciating what you have allows your blessings to multiply. As Neale Donald Walsch put it last weekend, “when you feel good about life, life feels good about you.” You can create a positive feedback loop in your life.
Instead of worrying, love your life. Instead of worrying, take action on something that is within your reach to change. Accept what is. Appreciate the many blessings you have been given. Center yourself in your heart as much as you are able to, and your life will blossom.
I wrote last week about loving yourself, but today I want to write about how showing love to others is a way to show love to ourselves. When you see past someone’s pain and mistakes into their light within, you are also seeing your own inner light. When you love others by giving them blessings and joy, you also give blessings and joy to yourself. “What you do to another, you to do yourself. What you fail to do for another, you fail to do to yourself” (Conversations with God). Or, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Loving another person is akin to loving yourself, because we are all one.
How can we show love to others? Well, it helps to know what they need, and each person has their own needs. Your partner may need a different kind of love from your child, but it’s all love. It is also possible to show love by embodying love for them, by centering your heart in a loving place and sharing that love with them. I do this now with my family and friends and with the children I work with. I practice this in my daily life as I encounter people throughout my day in different parts of the city. I practice showing love to the homeless and to people in need.
When I bless others with love, I feel that love lift me up and make me whole. I hope you have a chance to show love today.